Culinary Culture of Korea

Pub Enhances Flavour of Traditional Liquor

The traditional Korean liquor of makkolli which is served at the Chonghyang Makkolli Pub finds favourite with light liquor lovers as it retains its conventional flavour.

Though it is chilly winter, the public house in Songsin-dong No. 3 of Sadong District, Pyongyang, is visited by many customers who are fond of the cool mild drink.

The old favourite of the Koreans was named thus in the meaning of roughly filtered or cloudy liquor. It is made by fermenting the starch of such grains as rice and wheat with malt before filtering it.

“The refreshing Chonghyang makkolli, which is sourish, sweet and a bit rough, is so agreeable that one glass is not enough for me. I usually crave it on my frequent business travels,” said regular customer Kim Myong Il.

“Our pub’s makkolli won first prizes at different shows and cooking festivals including the makkolli exhibition in July 2010,” said manager Kim Kyong Chol.

According to him, there are six prerequisites for traditional makkolli making.

These are the proper preparation of main raw materials, the making of malt, the right blending of the main materials with malt, the selection of good quality water, the using of appropriate earthenware pot and the regulation of temperature.

If you properly mix the main raw materials with malt and mature it at the room temperature of 18℃-20℃ for 10-15 days according to the requirements, you will make the milky-white, fragrant and suave drink with an alcohol content of 3%-7%, Kim added.

It has been proved that the regular drinking of it effectively prevents various diseases such as chronic gastritis, indigestion and arteriosclerosis. Especially, linoleic acid, which is produced in the course of fermentation, is good for checking diabetes and cancer and retarding ageing.

As it carries on the conventional makkolli-making method, the pub has introduced new fermenting methods based on various moulds and yeasts with an eye to enhancing its smack.

The drink is carbonated in scorching summer to make it more refreshing.

Therefore, many public catering establishments in Pyongyang and other parts of the country visit the house to learn the recipes.

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